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Things To Do In Nanda Devi National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nanda Devi National Park is one the most special ecological biosphere's on our planet today. In 2004 the park was made a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. Closed off to the public for many years out of fear of the park being damaged by urbanization, activities like trekking and general exploration of the park have only been permitted in the last 5 to 10 years.
The park is best visited during the summer months and tends to shut for half the year during the rough winters. The star attraction at the park is naturally the incredible selection of flora and fauna present here. With nearly 300 species of flowers and over 100 different birds and animals present, this park is paradise for nature lovers. To learn more about the most popular activities around the Nanda Devi national park along with the things to do, read on.
Ropeway from Joshimath to Auli
Located a massive 3000 meters above sea-level, the Ropeway is the second highest in Asia and is one of the best things to do when visitng the Nanda Devi National Park area. The journey from Auli to Joshimath is not more than 4 km but the views are spectacular, making it a haven for naturalists and wildlife lovers alike. Visitors will need to pay around 750 rupees per person for a ticket, which may seem steep. However when you begin the ropeway journey, it will all be worth it!
Naturally, trekking in and around the national park is the premier activity and it is the reason why thousands of visitors flock here throughout the first half of the year. The trek up to the Nanda Devi peak is a once in a lifetime experience and takes visitors through some of the most rare flora and fauna on the planet. There are many mountain touring companies that visitors can choose from, especially if they lack prior experience. These tours professionally organize treks and tours of different durations, ranging from 1 day to 4 day treks. Back in 1982 trekking was banned to protect the biodiversity and the ban was only recently lifted.
Gorson Bugyal is situated 3056 meters above sea-level and is approximately a 3 km trek from Auli. It is a massive meadow surrounded by thick pine, coniferous and oak trees. The views of Nanda Devi Peak from Auli is magnificent and is not to be missed, especially during the sunrise and sunset. The serenity and calm of the trek is soothing for the soul and can even be enjoyed during the winter months.
One of the most convenient and enjoyable things to do for visitors trekking to the national park is to spend a few days before and/or after the trek in the base point of Joshimath. This town holds great religious significance and serves as the winter home to the priests of Badrinath. This town is steeped in history and is even home to the 1200 year old Kalpvriksha tree. Visitors can enjoy the peace and quiet of this destination, rest and be ready for the trip to the national park.
The Nanda Devi National Park is a part of a larger bioshpere of the same name and is one the most diverse and rich natural landscapes in the country. This means it is also a wildlife photographer's paradise due to the incredible 300 plus species of birds on offer as well as the 80 species of animals that can be found here. Amongst these animal species are some of the most mythological species like the snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, goral, musk deer and langurs to name a few. During the summer months photographers and naturalists from across the world flock here to document some of this incredible wildlife.
As discussed earlier, there are approximately 144 species of birds present in the Nanda Devi National Park itself. This makes it the go-to destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers of all ages. Birdwatching here is a highly popular activity, especially when the weather is at its best in the summer months. Fantail Flycatchers, Orange Bush Ribbons, Crested Black Tits, Nutcrackers and Warblers are just some of the rare bird species on offer here.